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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 15, 2016 7:08am-9:01am EST

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together this year's national defense authorization act which, by the way, is going to take place earlier this year by a three-week window. we'll push things to the left, hopefully get our jobs done more quickly so we can get the appropriations part of this done more quickly, too. again, thanks for your service, thanks for your perspective today. this is very, very helpful to us and we will continue the conversation with you. thanks again. and our subcommittee hearing is.
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>> welcome, everyone. thank you so much for joining us this afternoon. we are at american university. it is a great pleasure to continue our discussion series this year with ambassador daniel fried, who i was thinking as we
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walked up. , it was 20 years ago we worked together in my brief stint in the government. he has had a distinguished .areer in the foreign service he is the state department coordinator for sanctions, policy, prior to that ambassador fried was assigned to the guantanamo bay facility, which we will discuss briefly. the main focus of the conversation will be on sanctions. he also had additional responsibilities. previously as assistant secretary of state for european and eurasian affairs, senior director of the national security council, universe -- u.s. ambassador to poland. it is wonderful to welcome you. thanks for being here. mr. fried: thank you.
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i appreciated. >> one of the interesting things about foreign policy is, as people have gotten, grown disillusioned with the effectiveness of military force, as an instrument of: version in american foreign policy, a lot of attention has focused on sanctions. as a way to get others to do what we want, and not have to use military force but use a financial instrument to try and get others to do what we want. first thing, i want to ask you, since you have been involved in many different policy positions over the recent decades, how much of a change do you feel thee is in thinking about effectiveness of these different instruments, and it sanctions becoming more permanent as a tool for u.s. foreign policy, is , the nature of the policy conversation, since
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those who implement sanctions are different than those who implement the use of military force? well, clearly, sanctions are a kind of foreign policy tool of the month. right now, and i don't mean that sarcastically, it is what i do. asy have been seen relatively successful in a number of cases. , they are a tool of choice in situations like the one you mentioned. where do you go from diplomatic of militaryort force? and sanctions have been developed by the u.s. policy community, and have grown much smarter than they were 20 years ago. i don't work at the treasury department, but i will start with a plug for a u.s.
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government agency, a bureaucracy at his first rate, and that is the treasury office of foreign asset control. as a taxpayer, it is nice to see an efficient group of people that know what they are doing. the sophistication in the u.s. government about the use of sanctions has grown enormously. there are dumb sanctions. i guess, now, it's possible to admit that our sanctions against cuba were dumb sanctions. ,ecause they were unilateral supported by basically nobody else. and therefore, far less effective. we have learned lots of lessons about the smart use of sanctions, among them don't go it alone. the gold standard is, if you u.n. backing through a security council resolution. that is great.
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but if russia or china have an opportunity to veto, you will un approval. the server standard is to be multilateral. on the russia sanctions program i have worked on from the goinning, we did indeed multilateral. we made it a conscious decision from the outset to work with the g7, in general and with the eu in particular in designing sanctions. we have never done this before. and to quite the sick -- this extent. this was designed with europe, not designed in america and forced on europe, it was actually designed with the been much and has more effective because it was multilateral. , canada and australia and other countries.
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that is a lesson of sanctions. don't go it alone. is, don't be in a hurry. sanctions can work, but not on the timeline of the news cycle. it takes a while. sometimes, you don't know they are working until they work in spectacular fashion. government you are sanctioning will probably deny the sanctions have any effect. they will throw their arms and posture, and all of a sudden, the sanctions worked. don't be greedy. sanctions can help the purpose -- the purpose of sanctions is to change behavior. not punish. and the behavior you want to change has to be achievable. you can't ask sanctions to deliver the other guy's
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surrendering, running up the white flag. than the are no better policy they are attempting to support. and they must be coupled with diplomacy, which means also, that if you sanction, you have to know when to take the sanctions off. and in the case of iran, thetions brought us to point where we could have successful negotiation's, and implementation day, as it is called, is fast approaching. in the case of the russia sanctions, there is the possibility of a diplomatic solution. aggression --'s to end russian aggression against ukraine. sanctions, therefore, serve diplomacy. they don't substitute for it. so the do's and don'ts of sanctions are, don't be in a hurry, don't go it alone, don't
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be greedy, and the final don't is, don't look for too much purity, by which i mean, sanctions hurt. they are designed to hurt the person you are trying to hurt, if you design them right. but there will be pain on your side. there will become locations. if you can't face that, you shouldn't start sanctioning. have been in government a long time, we are always looking for the option, all game, no pain, no risk. it doesn't exist. >> let's talk about the russian sanctions and the different dimensions. one is on the multilateral approach. of the pain one causes to one's own companies, there were a lot of expectations early on, that the german
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government would not go along with stiff sanctions because of the deep ties between german business and russian business. i think a lot of people were surprised at how the strong stance that chancellor merkel took on imposing sanctions on russia. there has been concern, however, in more recent months, that others in europe are wishing that we could move in a different direction. or lift someelax of the sanctions, because of the pain we are causing europeans. could you describe the in aenges of doing this multilateral context? and the role that chancellor merkel played in ensuring the sanctions were placed on the russians? of course, you are
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right that there was a lot of speculation that europe in general would never go along with tough sanctions against russia and that germany, or italy or other countries, would block it, or some country would block it. in fact, that has not happened. europe, all 28 countries, has repeatedly voted to extend the sanctions, and they voted on top sanctions, which was not what many expected in washington. and not what many expected in brussels, in europe. i suspect it came as a surprise to many in moscow. if you think about it, the diplomatic history, president and the russians probably remembered the breakup of western unity over the iraq war and the huge fight, bush and blair on one side, the germans
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and french on the other. that they expected a similar break. but they didn't get it. they got unity, and europe deserves enormous credit. wringingpposed to be our hands about the problems in europe? the european union showed more strategic just -- determination and purpose than many people expected. and not at the lowest common denominator, it was pretty strong stuff. right, there are differences in views among european governments. germany under chancellor merkel has been strong. has business interests , the social democrats have traditionally wanted in germany to reach out to russia. this is true. but the germans have been a leader in forging european consensus. other governments were forward leading, others were skeptical.
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they coalesced around a strong position. that is to be applauded. what the united states did was actually, as i said, actually negotiate with the europeans and not simply come up with a made in washington formula and try to push it through. we figured our assumption, my assumption, was that if you actually consult with the europeans and do it right, take it seriously, you have a much better chance of getting to the end of the process arm in arm and that is what we did, and it worked. >> so it worked in a sense that we were able to impose sanctions. i am mindful of your point that sanctions can take a long time to have an effect. so trying to judge them in what has been less than two years is challenging. you pointed out that the goal is to try to change the behavior of another state. we have had different goals with
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respect to russia and ukraine, some of it directly related, others elsewhere in the region. we wanted to make sure russia didn't do anything to our allies. we did not recognize the russian annexation of crimea, but i don't think anyone expects there to be a change their. the russians are still supporting separatists in eastern ukraine. we wanted to keep the russians from going further than that. so that, we have been able to do that. on the specific challenge of the russian support for separatists in eastern ukraine, on the challenge of trying to get the russians to truly support some kind of solution that would allow ukraine to move forward, when we are looking at the world
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of our sentience policy, and the other challenge is of course trying to figure up the perspective of russian calculations. how much of their calculations, as their economy struggles, is due to sanctions, and how much is due to the drop in oil prices? who is going to complain about that here? understandwe try to the impact of the sanctions on these different elements, and where is the focus right now in terms of what specifically we would want the russians to do, and are there things that if they did them, we would then look to lift some of the sanctions? mr. fried: sure. i can answer that specifically. the good news is, there is a diplomatic process underway called the minsk process, where it was negotiated, which, if carried out, will give us the end of the russian aggression
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against ukraine in the east. in thesees elections occupied territories, a new electoral law to provide special conditions over there, osce monitors, a lot of other things. ending with the restoration of the eastern ukrainian international border. onceminsk is fulfilled, these elections have taken place and the russian forces are out, and there is no more fighting on the eastern boarder, yes. the sanctions will come off. you notice i didn't mention crimea. that there will be a satisfactory solution in the east, but crimea will still be under russian occupation. in that case, we would list the overall set -- lift the overall
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sanctions against russia but maintain sanctions against crimea. the united states and europe impose separate and separable sanctions on crimea with the possibility in mind. that is no secret. we have said this is our intention. so sanctions serve and achievable, or what we hope is an achievable diplomatic purpose. now, the french and germans have the lead in the minsk diplomacy with the ukrainians of the russians. we are in touch with the russians ourselves, obviously. things there some russian -- signs the russians are tired -- starting to dig us more seriously. it is my hope that we could start taking off the sanctions. we are not sanctioning for its own sake. the first part of your question was, we have lots of objectives towards the russians. how do sanctions figure?
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we imposed sanctions because of of what russia did in ukraine. if we had not imposed sanctions, i don't know what the situation would be like on the ground, but i am pretty confident it would be a whole lot worse. a -- theover a see russian claim to about one third of ukraine, and their extravagant ideas that were being floated? they have vanished. russia seems more oriented towards a diplomatic solution. we welcome it. we hope we can get there this year. >> i should mention, we will have plenty of time for questions from you, so if you want to follow up further on the russian issue, we welcome that. i wanted to turn to a different country, north korea. i have been in the news recently. with respect to russia, you had
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identifiable targets to sanction close to the president, important companies. it would seem like it is more challenging to come up with sanctions for a country that is governed like north korea. how do we think about the sanctions policy in what is a very different context? different, asis you say, and it is harder for the region's. the north korean economy is much more isolated. much more china-dependent. action on the additional sanctions is up at the u.n. with thewe are working security council on a draft resolution. i think we have said this
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publicly. we are working on this. there are things, additional steps we could take to strengthen the u.n. regime of sanctions. in this case, the sanctions against north korea generally are u.n. u.n.-backed. some nationalalso sanctions we could take in support of the u.n., and we will see where we end up in new york. , we hoped for a long time that we wouldn't be in this position but we knew it was a possibility. we were actually prepared. , workinge in new york for ambassador powell, who understands sanctions very well, were ready. we were in consultation with key players up there, and we will be pushing this. it is true that north korea is not as vulnerable to sanctions as either russia or iran.
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that it is also true that -- but it is also true that they are not in vulnerable. there are things we can do, and we are looking at that. frustrating, but we are going to be giving this a strong push. and i think we will. >> on iran, i think a lot of people look at iran, let's step back for a second. there has always been a discussion about how effective sanctions are, partly for the -- reason youd said, they do not have a big-time horizons of they get frustrated when sanctions don't work right away. there is a general notion that there is so many ways to evade sanctions, and it is very hard to get them to work, to get to do the kinds of things you are talking about in terms of changing behavior. iran is seen as a major success story, there is a nuclear agreement with iran.
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the countries that were part of the process, including the russians, really stuck with the sanctions, and in fact, even certainly during the first part of the obama administration, during the reset with russia, the russians had supported additional sanctions on iran, and this state of the iranian economy was seen as a major part of their incentives to move towards a deal. concerns been a lot of among people here who support there is still a challenge from the u.s. side because of the opposition to the deal in parts of the united states congress. how does the continued debate over iran here in the u.s. play out in the timeframe with respect to the lifting of the
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sanctions and any differences with respect to what the united states does versus how other countries will be engaging with iran? mr. fried: happily. the united states is prepared to ,o everything we need to do under the jcp 08, the joint comprehensive plan of action. we will do everything we need to do it and we will do it when we need to do it. we were careful to make commitments we could keep. the law andwithin our authority. the iran sanctions regime is the most complicated sanctions system i have ever seen, because it goes through multiple security council resolutions, laws, and implementing executive orders. they all refer to each other and build on each other, so it is immensely complicated. but sanctions experts, my deputy
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was involved in the negotiations because we had to make sure we were not going to take on a responsibility we couldn't meet. we could do it. we have come a long way. timingse, the illustrates the point we were discussing earlier. the irradiance -- the iranians have repeated that the sanctions have no effect. then it turns out, they did. we worked well with the russians and we work well with the russians despite the fact that we were also beginning to sanction them at the same time. however, a lot, of credit, because when europe joined us in the energy, the energy sanctions, that was a game changer. it was not clear that they would be willing to do it in the early days. this whole process started under
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the bush administration, but under the obama administration it took off. succeed,e that we can but we have come a long way. to aving from sanctions totally different issue. given your role and the effort to close what time i'll -- guantanamo, i wanted to ask you a few thoughts on that. the president made clear from the moment he took the oath of office that closing that facility a major priority for him. we are now in his final year in office. and so he's got a little less than, little more than a year, almost a year exactly, to try to carry this out. of course, there is a lot of discussion about the role that that facility plays in our
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reputation overseas. can you talk a little bit about why this does remain so important for a president to do --s, and what, when we you when you were working on this issue, the obstacles that you faced in terms of trying to move forward on this presidential priority? mr. fried: let me go back to the bush administration. it is sometimes forgotten in the that the bush administration, president bush, also wanted to close one honeymoon bay. it seems completely forgotten in washington that the bush administration moved over 500 detainees out of what on a guantanamo bay. we
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had something to build on when i started. i am foreign service. i am not a partisan person. there was a lot of good that the bush administration had done, if i can put it this way, to climb out of the hole it done for itself earlier. we built on that. politically itgh doesn't seem so, it is in fact bipartisan. it is hard to get anyone to admit to that, but i will hold to that position. i ought to know. i remember in the bush ,dministration, when people fairly senior, used to say that the damage the exhibit -- the existence that guantanamo bay it -- did by existing outweighed the damage that the detainees could do by returning to the
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fight. the bush administration, especially in the second term, wanted to close it. there are many things wrong with guantanamo bay. it is not wrong, in my view, to hold people as prisoners of war when you pick them up on the battlefield. that is recognized. that has legitimacy. was not setmo bay up that way. it was set up outside the regular norms. system, which is a rule of law system, when you try outsidesomething set up and integrate it with a system, with the regular system, it doesn't work. administration, the white house's instructions to me
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, starting in 2009 when i was approaching governments to take detainees, was, make sure you so youurity assurances know what will happen to these people when you have transferred them to third countries. corners, and although we want to close it, i was on new pressure -- under no pressure to rack up the numbers. we worked hard. there is a risk with every transfer. the risk is greater than zero. but overall, the risk of transferring detainees so you can close the facility is smaller than the risk of maintaining it forever. and this was also the view of the bush administration. and a lot of the people i work with were the same people doing it in the second term bush.
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very skilled people, intelligence professionals, people who were not motivated by left-wing, ideological commitment, or any of the other stuff you hear on some of the networks, the talk shows, these were professionals. obamahink the administration is right, i think the bush administration's second term was right, as well. , no longer do guantanamo bay haven't done it in several years. the person doing it now is doing a good job. the obama administration was right. they succeed. >> let's open it up. if you have a question or comment, please come to the microphone and introduce yourself briefly so we know who you are. >> my name is will. i'm a second year regional
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studies student studying eurasia. i was wondering if you could comment on the political developments in poland and whether you think polish democracy is under threat. and if you have experienced sanctions that the eu should consider political or economic sanctions on poland if trends continue against them on accuracy. -- against democracy. mr. fried: i spent many years in poland, working on polish issues. of concern that we find ourselves in such a situation where you could even ask that question. polish society has pretty deep democratic roots. poland's success, since 1980
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nine, is a reflection of those deep democratic roots. governments in poland have been liberal,ter, left, christian democrats, just about every possible configuration you can imagine and it is all working out fine. so far. that the current will result in a greater consensus in the country moving forward. polish democracy has been the driving force behind our support for poland. it hasn't just been sentiment or geopolitics or realism.
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it was solidarity starting in 1980. world, andthe changed our policy. and it was the advent of hellish made --y in 1989 that thath democracy in 1989 made everything possible with poland. we are following that very closely. i don't think it is very useful to say more than that. but i think you get the drift. >> jordan. >> i am a professor here, thank you so much for your comments. you talked a bit about the iran negotiations and mentioned the administration was careful not to make any commitments in the negotiations that the administration couldn't carry out, which i interpreted as an allusion to the fact that the sanctions mandated by law that the administration wouldn't have throughority to remove
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its own authority. could you speak a bit about to -- the extent to which congress, particularly the sanctions laws on the book, did constrain the administrations diplomacy with iran? how much of that was a factor in shaping or changing the negotiations and potentially changing the outcome of the negotiations, the specifics of the agreement that was reached? i would also be curious to hear you answer the same question regarding cuba, where there are sanctions on the books and the administration had negotiations, to what extent did the administration's night -- diplomacy with cuba become complicated by sanctions on the books that the administrations can't lift? mr. fried: in both cases, what we did, everything we did was informed by the fact that there
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were laws of the books, which we had to respect. so obviously, the details reflected the constraints of the law. but the laws on iran in particular, gave us sufficient flexibility that we were able to successfully negotiate the deal and the multilateral setting, and we will be able to fill out part of it. no question about it. we took the laws, and take the laws, seriously. we are working within them on -- on iran, congress pressed forward in a number of areas. sometimes, administrations think laws will turn out to be impossible to work with and it
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turns out they are more possible to work with. out, and i think it will, there will be enough credit to go around. obviously, any deal like this has risks. afternoon, thank you for coming to speak to us this afternoon. i am a second year foreign policy student. i am from ukraine. you said the purpose of sanctions is not to punish, but to change the other governments. to change behavior. in the case of crimea, i am talking about sanctions on crimea, not the rest of russia. limitationseal with such as denial of services or disabling visa, mastercard, cutting financial, cutting crimea out of the international financial system to change the russian government
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behavior? how do you expect these restrictions put on crimean crimean to change behavior? my second question is, given the fact that the majority of ukrainians, and i am not saying that because it comes from the that theiven the fact majority of crimean people are not willing to go back to ukraine, in what context the ucb sanctions lifted? -- do you see the sanctions lifted? mr. fried: i am not so sure. i am surprised that you are so sure. i wouldn't trust the results of a russian organized public opinion poll in crimea. there are a lot of crimean's, especially those from russian military families, of which there are a lot, who may well want to be in russia. pulling --f all,
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polling in a place where coalition is the norm is not terribly reliable. secondly, public opinion polls are not the indicators of sovereignty. there are rules about the sort of thing. russia wouldn't accept someone arguing that the check -- chechnya should be independent because a majority of citizens might have option -- opted for it. me, i amot clear to not sure i expect the -- accept the premise. the first part of your question, i don't think we have cut out, i don't think internet communications, or cell phone services, are part of the sanctions. they are generally not. afterd not to go
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communications, because we do not want to see populations and societies cut off. want to makeat we clear that our opposition to russia's occupation of crimea is not nearly lit -- merely lip service. it is supported by strong sanctions. the americans and the europeans it ishers believe important not to accept invasion and occupation as the new norm in europe. that is pretty important. ofthought that those sorts land grabs had gone away after, say, 1945. russia agreed to respect ukraine cost territorial integrity in
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1994 in budapest. act, signed final by the soviet union, recognized the borders in europe and the territorial changes by force. all of which russia has violated. so we are determined to keep the and ine on russia, policymaking, and this is well,ing jim knows very we often if not usually overestimate what we can achieve in the short run. we usually underestimate will we can achieve in the long run. year,mber, year after being laughed at by various governments and some university
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professors, because the united states adhered to a nonrecognition of the soviet occupation. oh, get over it. be realistic, we were told, year after year. sometimes, the higher realism is to hold to your principles. that's the higher realism. not the realism that recognizes its own anointment. >> thank you coming out. happy new year. i am a freshman at the school of public affairs. i have a question in regards to the un's clos and the recent of china creating islands in the ocean and manipulating the seas around them. how could we use sanctions to
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deter their effects, and if it is appropriate to use sanctions to begin with? and how could we change their behavior, because clearly, china is not the only one who is defying the un's cl. there is another report about canada manipulating the u.n.clos rules about taking land near the beijing, or not the beijing, the bering strait. i had archaeological evidence of -- they hadlorer archaeological evidence of a french explorer being dug up. mr. fried: i hadn't heard about that. i said earlier that sanctions are useful as a tool. in some ways, they become a tool of choice, because they seem to have worked in a couple cases, and they become a default.
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there is a danger in that. you want to apply sanctions where you have a reasonable roster of them working. and when they are the best will available. available. issues of the south china sea the area of responsibility of my office. so i won't go too far into this here. but to say that the united states has been active and vocal in expressing our concerns, and we will continue to be there, in other ways, to address the issue. canada, probably not sanctions. no, the canadians, i should say, the canadians have been wonderful as partners on russia sanctions and part of the g7.
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we consult closely with them. they are doing a great job. >> thank you. mr. fried: sure. >> hello. thank you for talking with us today. ima freshman in the school of international service and i recently attended a talk by armer ambassador pickering couple months ago on the iran deal. in his summary view, he described a trigger mechanism in which any of the participating sanctions reimplement at any point they feel that iran has not complied with its agreement. how possible to you think it is that the u.s. would utilize this sort of trigger mechanism under the administration that finds this agreement less favorable? former ambassador pickering also described the use of the trigger
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mechanism is crazy, considering how far we have come in the negotiations. it is -- is it a reality that the u.s. could reimplement sanctions following implementation? >> if you are a former ambassador, you can words like -- use words like crazy. if you are not in government. >> that's what i'm saying. if you are not in government. mr. fried: i think during the lengthy testimony, my secretary, secretary kerry made it clear thatwe will see to it oa iss part of the jcp carried out, and if not, we will avail ourselves of our options. it is credible, and i think that
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is what we will do. i don't want to get into hypotheticals. i think implementation day is very close. we have come a long way. it is real. it is not simply on paper. iran has done concrete things that are pretty important, -- andimpressive, and we were regarded as unlikely or impossible my many skeptics. this is a pretty good deal. no deal is perfect. that is reality. this is, this is a good deal. and we will do what we have to. i think any deal has to have something in it for both sides. the structure of the agreement, including the snapback provisions for the un's sanctions, rather unusual, mean that we have what i said we can
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do. let's hope we don't have to. >> thank you. mr. fried: sure. >> are you coming up to ask a question? >> i am from the school of business. mr. ambassador, i think you covered so many topics and areas. my question is simple. as a business person, when you a sanction, i on assume you identify whether it is going to be political, military, economic, financial, what have you. do you have kind of a metric by which you decide which one of these, or all of these, we are going to implement? number two, how do you assess the effectiveness of these measures? number three, which i really like to talk about, you have to
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be patient and what have you, because i think at my age, we experience so many sanctions and failures and what have you. really and truly, at what stage you decide, based on the metrics, that this bad boy should be punished because we failed to change his behavior? thank you. mr. fried: the basic piece of legislation that is the foundation of our sanctions is the international economic emergency act. is administered by the treasury department. it allows the president to issue an executive order declaring a national emergency with respect to, let's say, a country or situation within a country, and then outlined a series of
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sanctions, which we can carry out. sanctionst up criteria to go after people that -- threatening the piece threatening the peace and security of that country. you cannot broader sanctions allowing you to sanction whole industrial areas, as we did with russia. governmenters of the . that doesn't mean you have to, it means you give yourself the authority to do it, and then the treasury department and the office of foreign asset control work with us to identify targets. targets based on what will give the right balance of pain. that is, they feel the pain, you feel less. you also make sure you set it up so that your partners in case ofs, in the
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russia, the europeans, but also the japanese, are comfortable with it. or at least, not uncomfortable. you think, that is how we think our way through it. there are other tools. you can simply, you can start with simply visa sanctions. but then, it helps if the people you are targeting actually want to visit the united states. it helps visa sanctions if you have the places they want to go. or maybe, where they have their money. joining you in the visa sanctions. i will interpret your last question as meaning, what if it doesn't work? decide when it is failing? that is a hard question. from my own experience, our democracy,upporting
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and democracy activists in central europe, was regarded as a failure. every single year until it was suddenly a spectacular success. you are an idiot or a genius depending of the time frame. ok? you have to, you have to take that. it is to the credit of the obama administration that we were able to knowledge -- a publish something -- accomplish something, the cuba sanctions. it is also to the credit of this administration that it set out with russia sanctions to do it with europe in a way, to a degree that was unprecedented. to the credit of the bush administration, it started the debt -- the diplomatic process, which ended up with the jcpoa
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could bring across the finish line. am forsense that i bipartisan issues, you're right. i have served with george w. bush, i have worked on many administrations, there is such thing as american national interest, that transcends parties. there is such a thing as a common set of american values. fashionableis not to say so in this season, all of my friends from the bush administration, the foreign-policy team, i am still in touch with them. we all know each other. there is more community of interest then one would think if you read the newspapers, the op-ed, and much of tv. >> please.
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clerks thank you very -- >> thank you for speaking with us. i am an sis graduate. i have a couple of questions. georgia,russia invaded a similar thing happened to what we are seeing in the ukraine. russia did not annex georgia, but recognized two breakaway regions as independent states. we did not see sanctions. what are the differences and similarities, if you would talk about that. why? you are in the administration at this time. maybe you can draw parallels about how the processes did not take it to the sanctions of the time, and what happened differently. t is a really good question.
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i can answer it. i was, i was assistant secretary for europe at the time in august 2008. ira member exactly what you're talking about. , with theilar exception there was not a formal annexation, the russians recognized the independent countries. why did we not try sentient? -- sanctions? the honest answer, we thought about it briefly, we did not do it for two reasons, one, we were not as smart about patience -- sanctions as we are now. we did not have the experience. we were not as sophisticated. we did not know how to design them to work the way we think sanctions against russia. it is not an -- a great answer, but it is truthful. secondly, there were divisions within europe and between the
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u.s. and europe over the tactics. there was universal condemnation of the russian invasion, don't get me wrong, but there were differences. germany was skeptical about his policies. it is not clear to me the german who would have gone along with strong sanctions. without that, sections would have been a gesture, not successful. that is the second reason. the third was the bush of ministration was out of time. -- administration was at a time. that is not a great answer, but it was out of time. some of us, who were part of that process remember. when russia repeated aggression against one of its neighbors, for its desire to move towards with georgia it was
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nato, with ukraine, it was the eu. that is not a relevant factor. the relevant factor was it was so clear choice for these countries to find their way to europe. some of usappened who remembered the georgia situation wanted to find a way to be effective. experience did not go for not. we did help georgia after the war. we help stabilize the economy. the bush administration, and joe biden combined to support the georgia economy. senatoremember when biden said we ought to provide $1 billion for georgia? in the bush administration we grabbed that and said he is right, and he is depoliticize and. -- the politicized it.
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in the middle of this political campaign, a republican administration was capable of seeing a good idea from the democratic vice presidential's challenger and making it real. i wanted to give the vice president credit for some time. i appreciate you giving me the opportunity. we knew what he was doing. taking it too. he was out of partisanship and doing the right thing. there was no political profit. he was doing it because it was right, and we knew it. we said, go for it. i am not saying the bush administration walked away from georgia after the war. we helped stabilize the economy, i am proud of that. the obama administration went further and pushing back of a russians, and not accepting it. which means that the -- let us say formulaic diplomatic process in geneva about resolving the
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georgian role -- war might not repeat for ukraine. maybe this will result in a real solution. we hope so. >> we have time for one last question. >> hello, mr. ambassador, i would like to thank you again for's u.s.. i am a freshman here. my question is, in countries like russia where the power structure is around one person, how does the sanctions policy differ from a country where the national interest can be sanctioned for -- more. how to sanction policy change when you target individuals? in this case, those closest to prudent who would actually affect his decisions. go for anen you entire country. what is the deciding factor? what are the actual differences? daniel: when i was in graduate
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school i looked it very -- theory. in government you go after the targets you can, what will where -- work? what can we do? the major elements of our sanctions regime against russia, our meaning the u.s. and europe has been financial. we have blocks the operation of some russian banks. we have done more to restrict the operation of basically the big estate banks. second is energy. we got after exotic oil production, that is equipment and technology for deep-sea, arctic, offshore, and show -- shale. so it is not current production, it is future. we have gone after defense technology.
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before the element is to go after the so-called cronies. a crony is an oligarch who is particularly close to vladimir britain. not all oligarchs are cronies. but all cronies are oligarchs. they are superrich and these made president wealthy.putin very it is not a secret. we have said publicly we are going after them. we have sanctions them. -- sanctioned them by name. we have gone after some of their downstream holdings. again, public knowledge. look it up on the website. the point of sanctions is to show russia thatwe have said pue going after them. we have sanctions them. -- going further or even continuing is aggression increasingaine has costs, and because the update our sanctions. es maintain them, those cross
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deepen and strengthen overtime. yes, it helps that oil prices have tanked. the combination of our sanctions and the oil prices changes the strategic context in which they russian government has to make decisions. if that induces the russian government to negotiate a diplomatic solution, wherefore it. -- we are for it. i look forward to that day. that means the sanctions have served their purses -- purpose. the purpose of sanctions is to create conditions under which you can take them off. >> thank you. >> that is a good sentence to end on. thank you for the questions. [applause] ambassadort to have daniel freed here today. daniel: my
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i do not want to disrupt that. it's a matter of letting the technology and experts and engineers, try and see what's possible. >> okay. all right. let's hear some thank yous for these two commissioners. thank you very much. for doing this, and for all your hard work over the many years on unlicensed. so, i'm going to turn it over briefly to my colleague sarah morris who is the senior policy counsel here for new america's open technology group and she's the moderator today. >> really, i'm just going to turn it back to michael in a second.


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